Like / dislike of 71-73 Mustangs

7173Mustangs.com

Help Support 7173Mustangs.com:

Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
352
Reaction score
220
Location
Pittsford, NY
My Car
My all time favorite vehicle is our 1969 Shelby GT500
What won me over (I used to not like 71-73 also) was driving by a beautiful 73 Mach 1 for over 18 years, and admiring it from afar. Then one fateful evening, almost 4 years ago, Lynda (wife) got a phone call from a friend who had a neighbor who needed help selling his "older Mustang." "Not the orange one we see from Calkins Road all the time, is it," she asked. Yep, the very same one. I called the owner immediately, and asked if we could come over and see it. Despite my log held dislike of the 71-73 models in general we opted to purchase the Mach 1. I then began to work on it and came to realize how similar they were/are to the 70 and prior models. The more I worked on it, and drove it, the more I came t admire and really like the Big Nose Mustangs. The 1969 & 1970 model years are still my favorite, but now the 71-73 models are just a half step behind them, as opposed to being looked down upon with an assumption that they are bloated and unable to perform well. So many years wasted. But, now we have two Big Nose Mustangs. The 73 Mach 1 (deeply restored) and a 73 Convertible True Survivor with just under 21,000 original miles on it after being barn stored for 45 years.

We have done some upgrade work on both, but the Mach 1 especially. By the time we got it the prior owner had replaced the 4 wheel drum brake system with a 73 Power Front Disc Brake system from a wrecked 73 Mustang, swapped the 2.79:1 rear axle gears with a 3.5:1 TractionLok gear set, and replaced the original 302 2v engine with a street/strip built 351W (not C) that has a modest 360 HP at the crankshaft. We swapped its original C4 tranny with an AOD, which really lit up its comfort at highway speeds while opening up its top end speed with all that power from the built engine.

Both 73 Mustangs now have a 3 row aluminum Champion radiator with dual electric cooling fans, which work really well. We also added full length ACP center consoles, and replaced the ash tray with fabricated Power Panels that provide two 12 volts outlet sockets, and a dual USB outlet port. We also added a Garmin Drive 52 GPS display with the optional wireless backup camera, Dakota VHX analog instrument panels, DashCams, upgraded the alternators to handle all the newly added electrical components, and installed VintageLEDs.com LED taillight panels. They are both a blast to drive.



So, yeah, now I am a True Believer. And, like it ro not, it seems the First Generation Mustang admirers are beginning to take notice of how nice the 71-73 Mustangs are. Good news is the values are going up. Bad news comes as the values rise, as so does the price of entry for new enthusiasts. Also, the price of properly insuring these cars is also going up.
 

Attachments

  • AllPonyCarsAndGilWithLynda_3of4_20211007.JPG
    AllPonyCarsAndGilWithLynda_3of4_20211007.JPG
    5 MB · Views: 3
  • IMG_4852.jpg
    IMG_4852.jpg
    5.7 MB · Views: 3

Mister 4x4

Too Big to Sneak
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
8,178
Reaction score
400
Location
San Angelo, Texas
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1
Yeah, I agree on Boy George...

When I had my first Mustang, the 73 Grande, Devo and the Vapors were a major part of my listening...still are.

The major 'like/dislike' of that 73 was the avocado interior. I liked it, but everyone else disliked it!

I'm currently stuck in an '80s rut myself. I have 32GB thumb drives for all of my cars with [almost] all my favorite tunes on them. I broke out each decade and genre into their own folders, and I cracked open the '80s folder last week when the guys from work and I went to lunch - blew their minds with some Cyndi Lauper, Poison, and Eddie Grant (Electric Avenue). It's cool to get second looks from all the junior military trainees on the troopwalk when I'm rolling by with "I Wanna be a Cowboy" blasting away. Of course, tomorrow you might hear Linkin Park, Van Halen, Depeche Mode, Collective Soul, Vangelis, the 1812 Overture, or maybe even 'Las Suerte de los Tontos' from the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps. SO glad I don't have to carry around all those cassettes anymore. LOL!

Actually, the '69 Fastback is one of the most recognizable and iconic model years of them all. That's what I always think about when I think 'Classic Mustang.' John Wick certainly didn't hurt in that department, but I hate how now everybody absolutely must have a '67-'68 GT-500 'Eleanor' thanks to the Gone In 60 Seconds remake - I almost need to vomit every time I see that car any more.

I think our year models kind of stand-out on their own, and there's plenty of love from average people - it seems like it's the Vintage Mustang fans that have the issues. I know I can't even stop at a convenience store without someone popping over, wanting to check it out and talk about how 'one of his buddies had one back in high school.'
 

detritusmaximus

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2013
Messages
746
Reaction score
126
Location
US
My Car
1973 Grande #1 looong time ago
1970 Sportsroof #2 almost as long
1971 Sportsroof M-code #3 needs money
2008 GT #4 where the money went
Vangelis!....666, Bladerunner....and The Friends of Mister Cairo (with Jon Anderson of YES).

As if the 69 needed John Wick to raise its profile these days. Speaking of Keanu, when I went to see Point Break at the theater I started laughing at one shot of his Mustang. He had the same bothersome dangling power steering hose I had on my 70.
 

Bobby

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
225
Reaction score
72
Location
League City, TX
My Car
1972 Mach 1
I always disliked the 'dragging ass' stance. Who would design car to look like it had bad springs on the showroom floor?
The dragging ass stance was by design according to research. Those rear leaf springs were lower as part of a handling package to lower the center of gravity. I replaced mine with standard replacements from CJs. Looks great!
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
133
Reaction score
31
Location
U.S.
My Car
1971 Mustang Coupe. Lived, died, then lived again.
In my late teen years, I daily drove a '70 Cougar I paid $450 for, and my dad had a '68 Mustang convertible he made clear would be handed down to me when I graduated college. I fell deep into the vintage Mustang rabbit hole, especially for '65-'68 models, and I became obsessed, not paying much attention to other years. One day, driving to the post office, I caught a '71 Mustang hardtop sitting in someone's driveway with a FOR SALE sign. This was the first time I had ever seen a 71-73 and I was entranced. I started doing research (early 2000s too, so real research with books, not Google lol) and these cars seemed like spaceships. They looked like the offspring of sharks and fighter jets, and had a cool retro futuristic 60s vibe to them compared to the earlier Mustangs. Long story short... I sold the Cougar and bought the hardtop... and I have it to this day. I also inherited my dad's basket case '68, which is in queue for an eventual restoration, but nothing tickles my pickle like a '71-'73. The 65-70 fans can keep their "little" ponies.
 

Bobby

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
225
Reaction score
72
Location
League City, TX
My Car
1972 Mach 1
I always disliked the 'dragging ass' stance. Who would design car to look like it had bad springs on the showroom floor?
The dragging ass stance was by design according to research. Those rear leaf springs were lower as part of a handling package to lower the center of gravity. I replaced mine with standard replacements from CJs. Looks great!
 

Mister 4x4

Too Big to Sneak
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
8,178
Reaction score
400
Location
San Angelo, Texas
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1
I definitely prefer the cars at least leveled, as opposed to 'dragging ass.' Never was a fan of that look, although I know it was a thing in the '50s thru the early '70s.

A little bit of rear end rake is OK - as long as it's backed up with some big fat meats stuffed under there. Makes the cars look mean and ready to get after it.
 
Top